Seasons changed as time went by everyone told me time would heal my wounds but nothing could do me any good. What I faced was unforgettable. The trees and flowers bloomed around me and the tears started rushing down my eyes again. She was a tree hugger she always had been one even when she was a little girl but now there was nothing left of her, only the memories that haunt me. I did this to her but here I was living like nothing had ever happened.
It all happened one summer, when my life changed. I was 13 but she was 10, we’d spent our whole life together, we were always there for each other. I’d promised to protect her, to me she was a princess and I was her loyal knight but so much for all that small talk. Our parents weren’t really around. Dad was doing time for drugs and murder, and mom, well I guess I could say she was in another world, she had no idea what was going on around her ever since dad killed Leila our youngest sister while under the influence, but hey I guess life goes on. So I was the man of the family dad had been in jail for like 3 years, that’s when mom lost it, I never thought she’d get back to her senses again. I watch as dad kill Leila but I wasn’t going to let anything else happen to this family, no I had to protect us that’s why I didn’t report my mom, I didn’t want us to be separated, I could only imagine if they didn’t let her see us again. Elizabeth was so peaceful, the most precious, delicate, valuable person in the world, well at least that’s how I saw her. I remembered a conversation that happened between the two of us, when dad was first locked up.
“They finally got that jerk, serves him right; I wish I never see his face again.” “Don’t say that Sam, he still is our dad and he didn’t mean to do all those things,” Liz replied hesitantly, but still confidently. “Look what he’s done to our life, from a mansion to this pathetic excuse for a house and don’t get me started about what he did to mom. Why are you even defending him?” “Why? That’s easy he’s our dad silly. If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t be here right now, no matter what happens he still loves us, I’m sure of it. Everyone makes mistakes and when he gets out he won’t have anyone on his side, we need to be there Sam, he’s family. If we don’t forgive him, who will? I’m also sure he regrets what he did; we don’t know what he’s going through right now. Family needs to stick together.” She said with a smile. I looked at her discussed and not believing what she’d just said, I just wanted to slap her out of it right then and there. “What are you talking about I have nothing to do with that man, never say that again. He dissevers to rot in hell for the rest of his life. He’s not family, he’s not even human. What organism with the right mind kills his own daughter and ruins the rest of his family’s life? If you consider someone like that to be family, than you’re, you’re,” I tried to calm myself down as I saw the tears in her eyes. She’s never seen me so mad before, she’d released the demon inside of me with all the anger and furry that was locked up in my heart. I left so she wouldn’t have to see this side of me, what was happening to me, could I control my anger, in front of my sis at least.
Thinking about it, she was like an angel. She always had enough heart to forgive anyone, it’s all my fault I should have never live that lie she was too delicate. Anyways, after a while I went back, she was just sitting there right where she was and crying but when she saw me she somehow managed to stop and ask if I was ok. It should have been the other way around, I went and hugged her. “I’m sorry, I got mad, I promise it’ll never happen again, don’t worry my princess.” I picked her up and we headed home.
When we reached the house mom was at the door, “where have you been? And who is he? Leila, go inside this instant.” “Mom, I’m your son, Sam.” I replied. “Who are you trying to trick? I don’t have a son; I only have Leila now please leave and stay away from my daughter.” Liz looked shocked, “mom, I’m...”, but I cut her off. “Bye, see you tomorrow LEILA, I’ll pick you up after school.” I then directed my speech to mom. “It’s for a school project, it’s called the little sister group. Its part of our assignment, you don’t mind, do you?” mom nodded and smiled, “sure, as long as you don’t do anything fishy” then went in. So that’s how I shut Liz up and forced her into this lie. Liz came up to me with tears in her eyes. “Listen please pretends you’re Leila. Mom’ll back to her normal self if you do. I promised I’d protect you guys, so you have to do it, this way I’ll be sure you’re safe. Please.” “But what about you? Why doesn’t mom remember us? Sam I don’t want you to go.” “Don’t worry about me, I have friends, I can handle myself. This way you’ll stay loved forever buy as little Leila, do it for all of us. I’ll come and check on you every once in awhile everything is ganna be ok. Don’t worry.” She hugged me than we herd mom yelling from inside, “Leila, come in darling it’s getting cold.” She hesitated at first but then she saw me telling her to go, “coming”.
Days passed and that’s how things stayed for a while. Liz turned into Leila, and mom got her to her senses. Everything was normal again. The only problem was that I was literally on the streets now, but that’s the price I had to pay for everyone else to be happy. I was happy as long as they are happy, at least that what I kept telling myself. That’s about time when Liz began to change, she started becoming more open, and her life was becoming better. She had a mom that loved her, a brother that cared for her, and with me out of the picture she actually started making friends. Nevertheless she wasn’t Liz anymore, all this happiness was for Leila, not Liz. The only time she was herself was when she was with me. It was a curse I placed on her.
Once I was at my house, or should I say Leila’s house. Mom had gotten to know me as one of Leila’s friends, at I could still be close to them. So I was at their house and mom was going into one of her phases, when her memory temporarily came back and we were supposed to remind her of the lie again, to make her feel ok. This was the first time I was there to see one, and I was frightened. Liz could see the worry on my face. “Who are you, what are you doing in my house?” mom started. “Is that you Leila?” I looked at Leila and she looked back at me, she was fed up with this.
“No, I’m not Leila, I’m Liz. She’s dead mom, Leila is dead. This is Sam, my brother, your eldest son. Don’t you remember us? I know you do, mom it’s time to wake up.”Mom went into total shock and rejection. “No, no Leila isn’t dead, she didn’t die. Leila my baby you’re right here, you can’t be dead, you’re alive. I wouldn’t let my daughter die, that impossible.” Tears streaked down her eyes. Liz realize the sorrow I faced, she could see it on my face whenever I would come home. She knew I hated acting like an outsider. She knew how painful it was, pretending you didn’t care, pretending, you had nothing to do with anything, not being able to go up to my mom or her and hug her, not being able to say ‘everything is ganna be ok’. I couldn’t hide my feeling anymore; the tears pushed their way out. Liz answered mom again, this time with a firm voice. “I am Liz, Leila is dead. Dad killed her, you let it happen, now just forget the past. Mom that’s what happened, you watched as it happened, you didn’t do anything to stop it, but know you have to come back to us, so nothing like that will happen again. Please stop this mom, I don’t want to be her anymore.” Out of rage and disbelief mom grabbed the knife next to her and bolted towards Liz. “Liar, your lying, Leila isn’t dead, your Leila and your right here.” not wanting to hear another word emerge from Liz’s mouth she stabbed her in the stomach, right then and there and I just watched.
I could have stopped her. I was stronger than her; I could have taken the knife from her. I could have covered Liz, I could have backed her away, I could have saved her, but I didn’t I just watched. I’d promised I’d protect her, but I couldn’t, no I didn’t. I dragged her in to this, and now look what happened. Whoever heard of a princess dying to protect her knight, she did that so I would have to suffer. I wish I would have died instead of her, she would have good for the world, unlike me, I’m just an excuse for someone trying to improve the world, like all other people on this earth. I do good so I would benefit. I was as big of a failure as my dad, I was even worse. I killed my family; I killed them all with my selfishness. Once mom woke up from her episode, she saw Liz, saw me and realized what she’d done. She went and hung herself, and that was it, I was alone. I was the real murdered, but once they came I was let go. I wanted them to lock me up, to kill me but instead my life just kept getting better. My real punishment was worse; I was forced to live with that guilt on my shoulders. Forced to remember how I killed everyone around me. I destroyed the most precious thing in life, I lost my family, friends, honesty, loyalty, I lost my ability to smile. Everything would have been alright if I had only took mom to the psychologist, life would went on. Everything would have been perfect. Instead, I forced Liz to play along until she couldn’t take it anymore, she couldn’t handle the lie. I killed her, she’s dead.
I remember seeing Liz on the floor and mom running around. I saw myself run up to her, screaming. “Liz, are you ok? Liz answer me.” Once you think about it, it was a really stupid question, but there was nothing else I could do, it was too late. “Sam, you’ll be my knight, I love you and always will, I, I just couldn’t put up with this lie anymore. I’ll miss, you. You are the best brother I could have ever wished for.” That’s when I knew it; she was dying, like really dying. This wasn’t some joke, it was reality and that’s when I lost it. But then I heard her sweet, soft voice again. “Big brother, promise me you’ll keep smiling.”
Silence and that’s how it stayed until the police showed up. They took her, “no, leave her alone, don’t touch her, don’t” I yelled. The officer grabbed me and then gave me a sleeping dowse. Next thing I knew I was in the orphanage signing some paper work, so I could get adopted. And here I am. I finally woke up. If it wasn’t for her words I‘d probably be dead by now, I already kind of was.
Death was way easier than to dream about the same thing over and over again, every night. It wouldn’t leave me alone, nor did I deserve to be left alone. That’s all I am now an overachiever on the outside but broken and lost in reality. There is no way I’m going to forgive myself. I disserve to suffer this sorrow until I take my last breath. I could never be happy again.
So I sat there staring at the cherry blossom and smiled, that was all I could do. My tears had all dried up and the only thing left was that unfulfilled promise that I decided I had to do, a smile. Jessica looked into my eyes and asked if I was ok. I looked back up and gave my last words.
“No, he was a good person so young, why did he have to go?” Jessica cried as they took the body away. Everyone was in black and loads of people were there to watch the funeral. Everyone was in tears once the priest finished his speech everyone got up and left. That’s what happens when you die, people cry and moan for a while, but the live takes them on their own journey, they forget. Everyone is forgotten and nothing is left of except your bones and your uncompleted dreams. All of a sudden a tall broad man came; he had huge gray eyes and dark black hair with some white streaks he looked exactly like Sam. He read the tombstone aloud “here lays the body of Sam a beloved friend and a hard worker. When he finally forgot about the tragedies he faced, he passed away not able to see the wonders of this world. ‘Keep smiling’ were his last words. We all hold you dear in our hearts. R.I.P.” the man whipped the few tears that were on his face. “The same moment I was released, you died .what a coincidence. I’m sorry son, I’ve always wanted to say that, but I guess it’s too late wow your smile killed you, comes to show how cruel this place is.”
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